The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 351, titled:
With Chris Brennan and Kat Merritt
Episode originally released on May 11, 2022
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Mary Sharon
Transcription released May 16, 2022
Copyright © 2022 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
KAT MERRITT: In this interview with Chris Brennan, you get to meet the genius behind the Astrology Podcast, and find out why it’s so popular. People love tuning in and finding out what’s coming next and how to implement it in their lives. Wait till you hear from Chris himself. So Chris, let me thank you so much for taking the time to be with us here today. I’m so excited about where this conversation might take us.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, thanks a lot for having me today. I’m excited as well.
KM: You are kind of on the young side of astrologers in this day and age. How did this whole astrology thing get started in your life?
CB: Sure. Yeah. A lot of astrologers, more established astrologers sort of came in in the wave during the 1960s and 70s, but I actually found astrology when I was in high school in the late 90s and early 2000s and was really fascinated by it, and decided that that’s what I wanted to spend my life studying. So I actually went to school and studied astrology in college, and then continued to pursue it afterwards.
KM: You say you came across it in high school, tell me a little bit more about that. What happened? Why did it stick?
CB: Sure. I was always aware of like Sun signs and newspapers and things like that, and that was kind of novel on some level. But it was when I discovered the concept of the birth chart and that there’s different planets that astrologers pay attention to besides just the Sun sign, and each planet can be in different signs of the zodiac in a person’s birth chart and that all comes together in a more complex way to say something about the nature and future of a person’s life.
KM: And why was that interesting to you?
CB: Because it’s something that seemed like it shouldn’t work, but the more I paid attention to it and started to work with it and study its history and philosophy, I was surprised that something like that could actually work or have anything to say about a person’s character or future destiny.
KM: Yeah, I think you’re right. In my head it works the same way, it shouldn’t work. And then when you do a birth chart and it hits eerily close, you’re kind of like, “Wait a minute, there might be something here.” So, what was one of the most interesting things that connected with you personally about your birth chart?
CB: One of the most interesting things in retrospect was sometimes in my experience, and sometimes seeing other younger people, the way that it can sometimes describe events that will happen in their life that haven’t happened yet, and may seem to not connect initially when a person is younger. But as you get older, you sort of grow into your life a little bit more and sometimes life takes you in interesting and unexpected directions that sometimes end up matching exactly what the birth chart said much to your surprise. I think that’s one of the most fun and interesting experiences for me.
KM: That is interesting because a lot of times with astrology, we look for it to tell us how we’re going to feel today, or things that might happen for us and that we don’t realize them in telling retrospect that all of this sort of comes together. I noticed that you really are digging in with this ancient art of astrology. What is it in you that connects with this Hellenistic or, you know, ancient astrology practice?
CB: I think it was just the fact that I discovered when I was in college and studying the history of astrology that astrology used to be a lot more different in the ancient world 2000 years ago, in like the Roman Empire when it first started compared to today. And there was a lot of interesting advanced techniques and timing techniques and different philosophical concepts that existed back then that made astrology a little bit more effective as a predictive system than it became in the 20th century because that kept getting transmitted from culture to culture and language to language. And every time that happened over the past 2000 years, some things were lost and other things were added until it was a lot different in 20th-century astrology compared to 2000 years ago. So part of my goal in life has been to go back and recover some of those ancient techniques and bring the useful ones forward to today.
KM: So how did that– when it was developed that you’re talking about– how did they start saying, “Okay, these alignment of planets in the heavens actually affect me here on this planet we call Earth.” How did they start that whole connection?
CB: Sure. I think it just started very basically with you had these long families of skywatchers that would go out every day and every night and look at the stars and write down their observations, not just when they would see an interesting astrological alignment or see something happen in the sky that was notable astronomically. But they would also sometimes note down what events took place in their city or in the world in general at that time. Like, for example, if there was a major eclipse and a king died, they would write that down and add that to like a library or a repository of information. And after many, many generations, they built up enough observations of those correlations to start working out some of the basic principles.
KM: That’s really interesting. Then it just kept growing from there. So first it was observational, is that what you’re saying?
CB: Yeah, it was observational and very empirical because they were just looking at significant astronomical alignments. And they would pay attention to what types of events happened at the same time simultaneously under the premise, not necessarily that the stars were causing those events to happen, but that there was some sort of correlation or some sort of synchronicity that was indicating a connection between them through similarity and meaning, even if they weren’t causally related.
KM: Okay. You mentioned there were some things from this ancient practice of astrology that you felt like was important to bring forward. What’s one or two of those, and why?
CB: Sure. So one of the most basic concepts that didn’t survive in the modern astrology that we found in recovering ancient astrology of the past 30 years or so is the concept of sect, which is the distinction between day charts and night charts, where the very first thing an ancient astrologer would pay attention to is they would look to determine if a person was born during the day or if they were born at night. And this would alter the interpretation of the birth chart in a very significant way. Which makes sense, because that’s one of the most obvious astronomical distinctions that we all experience on a day-to-day basis. It’s just, is it daytime and is it bright out? Or is it nighttime and is it dark out? But for some reason, that concept didn’t survive or wasn’t passed on through the generations of astrologers due to the decline of astrology in the 17th century after the Renaissance. So that’s one really important concept that we recovered. And then there was another important category of techniques from ancient Greek astrology known as the time-lord systems, which were different systems for dividing a person’s life up into chapters and subsections as if the life was a book. And you could identify when each chapter of your life began and when each chapter ends. Sort of interesting and sort of exotic timing techniques for determining things about when certain things will happen in a person’s life.
KM: Do you bring that forward in your practice now?
CB: Yeah, that’s one of the major techniques that I talk about in my book and that I’ve used in all consultations that I’ve done over the past 15 years or so in order to see how the theory of the technique as it’s written down in some of the ancient Greek texts actually applies to people’s lives today. And it’s been really fascinating applying it, especially the charts of celebrities or actors or politicians. For example, this technique from the second century. It’s from a second-century text by an author named Vettius Valens who lived in Egypt, in Alexandria, around 150 CE. Using this technique, if you apply it to a modern actor’s chart like for example, Robert Downey, Jr. It indicated that he would have a major career transition and begin a major career peak that would last for 20 years starting around 2008. And what happened is that that was when the Iron Man movie came out and his career suddenly was given a second breath of life and really took off and he became, eventually for a period of time, like the highest paid actor in Hollywood. So, seeing a technique that we’re just taking out of a second-century text to be able to do something like that was really striking or really stunning.
KM: Something you said about that. How does it affect someone like Robert Downey, Jr who probably had that all happen unbeknownst to him? What happens if you’re talking to him and you’re telling him, “This is what’s going to happen. Does it affect how he lives his life and how he makes those decisions?
CB: Sure, potentially. I mean, he’s one of the major actors that actually does consult with astrologers and has endorsed different astrologers at different periods of time so I think he is getting some advice when it comes to things like that. But for the most part, I think, with some of those broad level techniques, especially for people where their career is not an astrologer, much of that stuff is happening independently regardless of if they’re aware of it or not, because some of it has to do with not just actions and choices they’re taking but also the circumstances in their life that are available to them at that time. And sometimes, you know, about 50% of the stuff in our life is very much outside of our control and are just things that we react to based on opportunities that are available to us at the time.
KM: So for someone like me, how do I take astrology… If I were working with you, how do you help me take all of these signs and information and help me implement them in my life so that I live a better life?
CB: I think one of the ways is it just helps to give you some perspective on the events that are happening in your life and some reassurance sometimes when you’re at a crucial turning point that sometimes things will work out for the best or in some instances that you’re on the right track. Or that even if you’re going through a difficult time that it might have an endpoint at a certain point, or it might be building up to something greater. Some of that is just reassuring and can help to give you some greater outside perspective on your life in a unique way than you might be used to. And for some people, that’s kind of reassuring.
KM: So do you feel like astrology is something that was interesting to use so you followed it, or was there a deeper connection or calling for you?
CB: Yeah, for myself using the same technique I was just talking about with Robert Downey Jr, it said that I would start a major career peak period right about the time that I discovered astrology. So that’s a joke that I make in my book, that you know an astrology technique is good when the technique itself tells you that you’ve found it at that time in your life.
KM: Yeah, that’s great. I know you have a podcast, you talk to a lot of astrologers. Is this where you spend your life?
CB: Yeah. I think it’s just really fascinating as a whole subculture that exists in the modern world that there’s groups of astrologers that are doing things like this and looking at birth charts and consulting with, and sometimes giving advice to not just actors, but sometimes like politicians or other people in the world, and just the influence that astrology has in that way. So part of my goal is just to document that and talk about not just the history in the past, but also try to get interviews with different astrologers in the present in order to document who’s doing what and what sort of contributions they’re making during the course of their career or their life.
KM: What are some different areas, I know you talk with astrologers that have all different areas of expertise, what are some of those different areas that they address?
CB: Sure. There’s one type of astrology which is natal astrology and looking at birth charts, but there’s also different branches of astrology such as mundane astrology, for example, is looking at large groups of people like cities and nations, or trying to predict world events. For example, last year with the pandemic and the alignment of planets that all lined up in a line literally in the sign of Capricorn last year about the time that the lockdowns took place. That was something that was more in the realm of mundane astrology and trying to forecast stuff that’s affecting large groups of people at the same time. So that’s one specialty. Or electional astrology is another specialty, which is trying to determine auspicious times to act. And when you launch new venture or project, that there’s going to be some dates that are going to be more auspicious whereas there’s going to be other dates that might be more challenging or when the success of the venture might be less as not as much as you hoped for.
KM: This mundane astrology sounds anything but mundane to me, this whole societal movement or what’s happening with lockdowns worldwide. What insights have you gotten for yourself or from others based on where we are at this time in history?
CB: Yeah. Well, that’s very much what interests me the most and one of the things that’s most striking about the work of Richard Tarnas and his connection with the Changing of The Gods Series. It’s that he was one of the few astrologers that wrote a book in 2006 that really specialized in and focused on mundane astrology. And he looked at specific planetary cycles that would recur at different times and talked about what they’ve correlated with in the past. And so what’s interesting about that is if you read his book, he talked about how the Saturn-Pluto conjunctions like the one in 1981 coincided with the beginning of the AIDS pandemic. So he had shown how it had a history of coinciding with pandemics in the past and then part of the inference then was, when that conjunction recurred in the future, it could potentially recur with something like that again at some point. And then of course, at the beginning of 2020 was the next time we had a Saturn-Pluto conjunction. So I think all the astrologers learned something significant about that, as well as just the need to sometimes- Astrologers worry a lot about not freaking people out too much or not coming off as overly negative as a bit of self-reflection and not wanting to influence people in an unduly negative fashion. But one of the things that I kind of learned from that is that sometimes when you do see something challenging coming up, sometimes it’s better to be open and honest about if it looks difficult rather than not because otherwise, you could be holding back something that’s really important.
KM: Yeah, I’ve been here long enough that there’s times of ease and times of difficulty, right? And having a reason for that difficulty, you’re right, it’s like don’t freak people out. But when you know what’s going to happen, you can prepare in advance and I think have a broader view. Do you think that that’s what astrology helps with?
CB: Yeah, just getting a broader view and some perspective as well as some idea of timeframes involved and like how long something might last or when the most tense parts might be, and different things like that. I think knowing the duration of difficult things even can be very reassuring. And even if that’s all you could do with astrology, that, in and of itself would be very helpful.
KM: Yeah. I think knowing something’s going to end, that’s difficult or painful just knowing that. Because when you’re in it, you feel like that’s the sum total of reality, right? So, what are some individual ways- You work with people one on one, what are some individual ways that astrology has helped people cope with what’s been going on in our world?
CB: I think that there’s different people that hit different areas of their life harder. There’s some people where it hit their relationships really hard, there’s other people where it hit their career very hard and impacted or interrupted things they were working on, there’s other people where there were other relationships in their life with their parents or children or siblings that it impacted the most. Sometimes just being able to see through a different lens how some of the things they’ve been experiencing were actually reflected in their chart, and showed up indicating that that would be the area where they might experience the brunt of some of those energies at the time, was just helpful in terms of getting some perspective on that at the time and working through whatever the issue was or whatever the hardship was at the time.
KM: Okay. So if I’m hearing you correctly, it’s, “Okay, this has been really tough on my relationships,” and you’re able to tell me, “Okay, in your chart this is a time where you’re defining those relationships.” It’s having that broader picture, but also I think maybe making it apply as a purpose to my life, not just this random difficulty, right? Like, I think random difficulty leads to Why Me?
CB: Yeah. I think one of the most uncomfortable, hopeless feelings in the world is that the world is just like this random, meaningless place where stuff just happens and there’s no real rhyme or reason to it. But one of the really unique viewpoints that astrology gives or that it brings from the ancient world where they had much more intricate and interesting conceptualizations of fate– and fate not just being something that was negative or overbearing or oppressive but could sometimes indicate broader narratives of like meaning and purpose in a person’s life– I think importing and trying to identify the larger narrative of a person’s life and why certain events are taking place at other times, and that even if we’re experiencing something where a door is being shut on one part of our life or one relationship, that it might be opening up other doors in the future. And there might be some sort of productive or constructive reason for some of these difficulties. I think that’s a really useful perspective to have that you might not be able to have otherwise.
KM: You keep hitting on this theme of a broader purpose to life, the reason why things are happening, and I think that’s the universal thing all humans ask, right? What we seek for. When did it hit you that you were finding that through astrology?
CB: I think relatively early on because I would go back. One of the first things I think most astrologers do when they get into it is they go back and look at their past life chronology up to that point, and they look at some of the events in their life that occurred, and then they look and see what the alignment of the planets were at that time. What’s really striking about that is usually the symbolic meaning of just if you look up the interpretation of different things in the astrology books of what certain alignments are supposed to mean, will actually then match up with your past life events. Which ends up being a really startling realization that much of your life up to this point has been indicated or has correlated in this really weird way with major planetary alignments in your birth chart. So I think when you do that and have that realization and then continue to practice astrology while living your life somewhat independently and having different types of events take place in your life but then continuing to see some of those patterns and correlations play out, I think it just helps to reinforce that there’s something very weird going on here that perhaps for any normal shouldn’t be happening but for some reason, it is. So it’s kind of hard to not be interested or fascinated by that and to want to learn and understand it as best as you can.
KM: Does that mean based on the stars, my life’s gonna be a certain way and that’s just how it is?
CB: No. I mean, because- Well, part of it or some things are going to be outside of your control, some things are also going to be acts of personal volition and we all make choices that impact and alter the course of our life in very significant ways. It’s just the astrology sometimes for some mysterious reason tends to know ahead of time when some of those pivotal turning points are going to take place, where you’re going to make an important choice that’s going to take you in one direction or another. That’s part of the mystery, but also the thing that’s interesting about it.
KM: So let’s say I have a really important choice coming up in this next year for me. It’s a pivotal time, I have a super important choice to make. How does astrology help me become prepared for that rather than pressurized by it?
CB: Just by giving you some idea that in a broad, archetypal, or general sense that some of the most important choices or most important areas of your life that are going to be activated in the coming year are going to be this, let’s say, selection of four or five areas, and so that most of your focus is probably going to be on those areas and most of the important choices that you’re going to make is going to happen in that area over the course of the next 12 months. Once you know that know the general range of things, you can maybe sometimes narrow down what you focus on, or what you sort of anticipate as coming up as either really constructive and really easy areas of your life during certain periods or otherwise, somewhat challenging areas of your life during other periods. But having a little bit of foreknowledge sometimes just gives you a heads up ahead of time so you’re not completely caught offguard by anything.
KM: It sounds to me like it’s like having a map, you kind of have an idea of where you’re going instead of just guessing. Right?
CB: Yeah, I think that’s a really good analogy. It is a map. And actually, the birth chart (that was the Greek term for it) is they would call it a map, basically, or that was like a shorthand term for it. It’s a good analogy of using a map for astrology also because a map does give you kind of a top-down view of everything, like a bird’s eye view of the landscape and sort of the general outlines of where to go in order to get from point A to point B. But at the same time, it doesn’t give you everything. It’s not like looking at a crystal ball or a movie of exactly what will happen. There’s still a quite different experience of actually being there and living through those events firsthand, and seeing them come alive in a much more nuanced fashion once you actually experience them. I think that’s really good analogy because it highlights both the advantages, but also some of the limitations of astrology.
KM: Yeah. You hit on something that was a question I couldn’t wait to ask you, and that’s: What’s the difference between the astrology chart I get where it says, “Here’s your sign, these are the things you need to look at.” It’s like, you know, your sign is based on roughly a month, right, anywhere in there. Versus a birth chart. For someone who doesn’t know what a birth chart is, what is that and how does it compare with what a lot of us know as our sign’s predictions for the month?
CB: Sure. So the basic one, which is your Sun sign just indicates It’s just based on the month you were born, and it indicates anybody born within that one-month time span would have the Sun in one of 12 signs of the zodiac. But the difference between that, which is somewhat limited because it’s just taking into account one celestial body in our solar system which is the Sun, but then you realize that there’s nine or 10 other planets in the solar system besides the Sun including the Moon, and each of them moves at different speeds or moves at different rates through the signs of the zodiac and spends different amounts of time there. Some of them move really quickly, like the Moon only spends about two or three days in each sign of the zodiac. So that can be in one of 12 different signs for you and that’s going to indicate something different about your personality than your Sun sign. And then there’s other planets like Mars takes two and a half years to go around all 12 signs so it spends about a month or so in each, sometimes two months. Jupiter spends a year in each sign, Saturn spends about two or three years and each sign. So there’s different planets that are moving around at different speeds through the different signs of the zodiac and those all give you different variables that make up a much more nuanced and detailed picture of your life and your personality compared to just paying attention to one single variable.
KM: Yeah. I had a friend who did their birth chart and they had their time of birth wrong. And they were like, “Oh, this doesn’t make any sense.” And then when they got their time right, it was zeroed in. Why does that little bit like same day, same place, that lit little bit of time of hours makes such a big difference?
CB: It’s a little hard to explain but the time of birth is tied into the rising sign, which is the sign of the zodiac that was rising up over the eastern horizon where the Sun rises each morning. And that sign of the zodiac actually turns out to be the most personal one to you because the ascendant or the rising sign changes about every two hours. It moves very rapidly so that means because it moves so rapidly through the 12 signs of the zodiac, that’s actually the most unique one for you. Whereas, for example, the Sun sign the Sun will be the same for everybody born in the same month, or the Moon sign will be the same for everybody born during a, let’s say, two or three day period whereas the rising sign only stays true for like an hour or two each day. So it’s much more unique in that way and much more personally tied in with you. But that brings up another type of astrology or branch, which is rectification, which is when a person doesn’t know their birth time or they only know it approximately, an astrologer can sit down with them for let’s say a two-hour consultation and ask them questions about their life. At the end of that two-hour process, a person can somewhat reliably reverse engineer what time a person was born based on the events that occurred so far in their life. That’s another branch of astrology that some astrologers specialize in, is just helping people to identify what their correct rising sign is or what time they were born based on reverse engineering it based on the events that have occurred so far in their life.
KM: That’s interesting because I have had people ask me, “What do you do if you don’t know what time you were born?” So that’s really, really interesting that you can find that out. I also want to know what has been the most fascinating or surprising thing you have found out interviewing other astrologers?
CB: The most fascinating or surprising thing that I found out in interviewing other astrologers is just that astrology seems to act as a language. And in many ancient astrologers like ancient Mesopotamia, they had this analogy that astrology was like a language that was written across the sky and that it was like the gods were communicating to humankind through the movement of the stars and the planets. What’s interesting about that in modern times is that astrology does seem to act as a language in that there’s many different ways that you can use it not just in applications of astrology, but there’s many different schools and traditions of astrology where sometimes they’ll develop their own unique applications of the subject that still work, but work in ways that are very different. And I think the best analogy is a language where once you learn a language, sometimes there can be drift and it can change, but still be sort of consistent in and of itself, sort of like how in Europe you have a relatively small area of land but when you go across different boundaries, there will always all of a sudden be people speaking very different languages like French, German, Spanish, what have you. There’s something similar in the astrological community where there’s different types of astrology that all work, even if they have a different form of syntax and structure.
KM: I like that, that it’s this language and you’re all studying it, so you have this base to work from,. Right? For someone who doesn’t understand all these different branches of astrology, what is your most singular focus?
CB: My most singular focus is primarily natal astrology, which is just that application of looking at the alignment of the planet at the moment a person was born under the premise that that’ll tell you something about the nature of their life as well as their future. I think at the most basic, that’s my primary focus.
KM: That’s interesting because in watching some of the things you talk about, most astrologers say, “This is for a Libra, this is for an Aries, this is for Virgo,” and you talk about, “This is for this person and that rising sign.” Why is that so significant?
CB: Just because the rising sign it’s connected with this ancient technique or concept that was introduced around the first century BCE, where you determine what the rising sign is and then that helps you to establish a set of 12 what’s called the houses or sectors of the chart that divides the chart into 12 sections that pertain to different areas of the person’s life. The 12 areas are things like body, finances, communication, home and living situation, children, work, relationships, shared resources, travel, career, friends and enemies or people that you don’t get along with. Once you know the rising sign, you can establish those 12 areas of the chart. And that allows you to make much more specific statements about– depending on where the planets will be over the course of the next year– which areas of the person’s life are going to be more active and become more of the focus during the course of that period of time. So it allows for much more specific sort of forecasts or predictions about the future.
KM: So you say the 12 areas, which are only as you listed them, I’m thinking, are the most important things to all of us. Right? That’s it. Is that more important than your Sun sign?
CB: Yeah, I would say so. I think while your Sun sign can be important, the Sun signs especially are going to be more important for people who are born during the day. Whereas actually if a person was born at night, either before sunrise or after sunset, their Moon sign is actually more important to them. But whether you’re born during the day or at night, your rising sign is still going to be the most unique, and the houses are going to be the best way to approach specific predictions about a person’s life.
KM: Can you tell us a time when someone came to you, didn’t know much about astrology, and learning about astrology and what you do and about themselves helped them realize a specific event or a specific decision that changed the direction of their life that maybe they wouldn’t have had otherwise?
CB: The best analogy I can actually come up with for that or best example of that kind of comes to mind is when I first met my partner, we were hanging out at a library one day, and we’re both astrologers that met at astrology meeting and this is like 12– it’s actually 13 or 14 years ago– and we looked at each other’s charts and just made a few comments. I made a few statements about her chart and she was actually very open about it and very blunt about it in just being like, “That is not true and has no relation to anything that’s occurred in my life up to this point.” And I was like, “Okay, that’s too bad. We’ll see what happens.” And what’s funny is quite independently of anything else over the past decade, she ended up going on a specific career path and most of the things that I ended up saying ended up working out. Not because she wanted them to or was influenced by anything I had said, but quite independently of that. That’s where her life ended up going. But it hadn’t up until that point. And it’s sort of a funny running joke to us that I get to bring up then over again on the podcast just to sort of mess with her from time to time that for example, she became the head of a major astrological organization that’s one of the major astrology organizations around the world. She became the president of it and up to that point, she hadn’t done any community organizing efforts. So my statement wasn’t true, but I was picking up on something that would become important in her life at some point. I always think of that example just because it didn’t really push her in that direction or influence her to, but instead, she was kind of dragged into that area almost like being picked up in a riptide or an ocean current or something that sort of takes you in a direction you’re not originally anticipating that you’ll go, even if that direction ends up being fortuitous in some way.
KM: Yeah, it sounds like it was. Against her will or wishes at the time, it’s what was happening.
CB: Yeah, cuz it ended up being like a lot of work. I mean, it was very important and she ended up winning awards and accolades in the community later as a result of that, but it was definitely taking on a big burden and doing sort of community service work at the time at a stage in her career where she didn’t think she was fully prepared to do that. But it ended up being ultimately a good thing that she did, even though she kind of stumbled into it in the end.
CB: So you say stumbled into it, you knew it was coming. She had this- [laughs]
CB: I mean, I had an idea. I was just reading the chart and I was just saying what the chart said, and it seemed to be indicating that working in groups and for social movements would become an important part of her life, especially ones that were tied in with her beliefs and her philosophical interests, one of the primary ones of which was astrology. So it was like a pretty straightforward interpretation of that placement in their chart, it just hadn’t happened yet.
KM: That’s so great. I love that. For someone who doesn’t really know much about astrology, is looking into it, wants to know how it can affect their lives, kind of someone on the fringe… What’s the most important thing for them to know?
CB: I think the most important thing is just to try to get a hold of an accurate birth time, try to see if you can figure out your birth time because that’s the foundation of most of the birth chart and most of the techniques that astrologers use in terms of advanced techniques, either by asking your parents if they remember or better yet, trying to find your birth time from your birth certificate, and then going to websites. There’s lots of free websites and apps out there today that you can access in order to calculate your birth chart. And I would just recommend doing that as a starting point so that you are accurately looking at the same thing that astrologers do in order to assess whether or not there seems to be anything to astrology. And the best test is to do that and then go back through your past life and look at events and where the planets were at those different times when important turning points in your life occurred, and see if there were important planetary alignments with your birth chart at that time. Once you do that, it’ll set a foundation and sort of open up a whole new world for you, sometimes unexpectedly, but once you’ve seen it it’s kind of hard to look away.
KM: Yeah, I think that’s good. In order to learn it, experience it. That’s really what you’re saying, right? And I’m going to add, necessarily don’t trust your mother. Because my mother gave me a time that ended up being different than what was on my birth certificate. [laughs] So, what are some ways people can find that out?
CB: That’s really common because actually, astrologers are constantly encouraging people to not rely on the parents’ memories unless you don’t have a choice. Because there’s usually so much going on, during the process of birth and sometimes there can be sedatives involved and stuff like that. Yeah, it’s not a good idea to rely on the parents’ memory if you have a choice. The best thing is to get a copy of your birth certificate, especially an original copy, and usually there’s websites you can go to at this point where you can order a copy from the state and they’ll send you a copy of the original birth certificate and that’ll have it. Usually, that’s the best thing. Other times, sometimes if you have like a baby book or something like that, sometimes it’ll be written on that or some other birth record.
KM: Okay, that’s great. When you explained how the rising sign changes so often, it occurred to me how important those times really actually are.
So now we’re gonna go to the other end of the spectrum. For someone who thinks they know a lot about astrology, or even studies astrology, I find it interesting the story you shared. You were sharing things about a chart with a fellow astrologer that you were seeing that they weren’t. So for someone who studies it or is in the space maybe, what are some of the most important things for them to know?
CB: I think just having conversations with other astrologers, especially ones that don’t necessarily practice the approach that you practice can be really helpful and can really open your eyes up to new perspectives that you maybe hadn’t seen before. That was, that was part of my experience going to college, was I started learning modern astrology for the first four or five years of my study studies and I was very adamant about that being the best approach. And when I went to school, they sort of forced me to start taking some courses on ancient Greek and Roman astrology as well as ancient Indian astrology. At first I protested it because my conceptualization at the time was that those older approaches were old and outdated and no longer relevant because we had discovered new planets since then and life had changed so much that there’s no way that something from 2000 years ago could be relevant. But eventually, my protests failed and they were just like, “Suck it up and take the course otherwise you’re not going to pass and graduate.” So I did, and very quickly realized that my initial presumptions about other forms of astrology, especially older forms, were wrong and that there were a number of things that had been lost that we could actually recover that would be useful for modern contemporary astrology. I also realized that when you start reading some of the ancient texts from 2000 years ago where they’re sharing birth charts– and sometimes the astrologers from back then like Vettius Valens will share their own birth chart in their text and talk about their life story– you realize very quickly that life today is actually very similar as it was back then because the fundamental areas of life has haven’t changed that much in terms of like relationships, parents, your career, travel, communication, finances, stuff like that. It’s all largely the same, even if the details have changed. And that’s, I think, why a system that was developed 2000 years ago can still be relevant today because they actually tuned into something that was very fundamental about the core principles of life.
KM: Wow, what a great place to end! That this all ties together with our shared core principles of life and gives us a map for greater meaning and understanding of that.
KM: Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and your experience and your knowledge with us today. It’s been quite a journey.
CB: Yeah, thank you. Thanks for having me today. I’m excited about this series, and I’m excited to see the other interviews you’ve done as well.
KM: Wow, Chris kind of blew my mind. Didn’t you think it was fascinating when he talked about going back to ancient, ancient astrology and how it really ties in with our lives today? How could the ancients have known that what they went through would have so much in common with what we go through and what we could learn from it? Thanks so much for watching. I hope you got as much out of it as I did.